Today we continued to hear the evidence for the Crown prosecution, which is now over, bar the shouting – oh I mean bar Bryan’s interview with police. The rest of the week is likely to be taken up with legal argument. We finish early on Friday because it’s a long weekend, it is the Territory after all. And there a thousands of people due in Alice for the Finke Desert race – the police advised us to be careful on the roads with our bikes as there are lots of people who may be hooning about.
Much of today’s proceeding was evidence from further AFP officers giving evidence about the ‘incursions’. What surprised me was how close many of the AFP officers were to apprehending the four, but that they didn’t see them for quite a period of time, even in when in “no man’s land”. There were also evidence presented about Jim in a “prayer-like position”
Jim was able to point out some seeming inconsistencies in the crown’s case of timing of certain alarms, when people were alerted, and when the individuals were actually inside the “technical area”.
Jim also managed to bring up the Raytheon link – the world’s fourth biggest arms dealer is one of Pine Gap’s contractors. When Raytheon employee Tollosep was on the stand, Jim asked “Are you aware that Raytheon manufacture Cruise missiles? Are you aware that 40 Cruise missiles were dropped on Baghdad at the start of the Iraq war in 2003?” The prosecution objected.
Some newspaper articles and other documents left on the roof of Pine Gap buildings by Adele and Jim, seem to have gone missing, and were not presented as part of Crown evidence.
The most poignant moment for me in the court was when our banners were brought out of AFP possession and held up. “Expose Pine Gap” was held up by a Sherriff’s officer; an AFP officer and a NT police officer across the length of the court room. Another particularly beautiful banner telling a story of dispossession of Aboriginal land through to the time where, through public involvement, Pine Gap is eventually closed. We look forward to returning this banner to it’s rightful owners.
It’s hard to know what the jury are thinking, though we always try to make sense o their various face expressions during the evidence
I’ll finish with some excerpts from Donna’s interview at 11.18am 9th December 2005 at Alice Springs Police Station.
“I don’t believe I’m breaking the law because I believe I have personal responsibility to alert the public to the activities of Pine Gap of which I have become aware. I believe that anyone is responsible for the death of other human beings, that we have an obligation to report that.
So I thought I had a responsibility to investigate further what is happening in Pine Gap and to try to make other people Australia citizens aware of the very strong risk that Pine Gap poses to the safety of Australian people….
I’ve witnessed first hand the activities of Pine Gap and the result of what occurs there...so I’ve seen women and children’s bodies ripped to pieces and maimed and I feel that it’s a crime and if I know that it’s being facilitated from Pine Gap I have to report that…
it’s been proven throughout history that people in my position who have to alert others to crims of maybe Government or political groups are not committing crimes so this is the philosophy of which I was there today…I am a pacifist which means I don’t use violence of any kind…
“On Monday night for example I have a talk about the massacre in Iraq in a town called Fallujah Iraq of which I was a witness so I have photos of like children shot through the head by American snipers and things like that and bodies where their skin is peeling because of chemical weapons used in Fallujah and so we had a public meeting to share this with the public that was part of our linking what we’d planned for Pine Gap with the war in Iraq…
Part of our goal was to learn more about Pine Gap Facility, it’s a secret place, and I don’t think it should be secret and many people are curious about what it looks like… I was disappointed that I actually didn’t’ get to take the photos that would’ve revealed more information.
Donna was asked “Did you have permission to take them photos of the base?”. To which she responded, “There was no one to ask...
I’ve never broken a law before. I’ve never been arrested or convicted of anything so for me it was a very serious thing to do.”
“Do you think what you did was the right thing or the wrong thing?” she was asked, “I think it was the right thing”…“I don’t believe I committed a crime… What I did was an attempt to transform a military base into something you know open and honest.”